When you're making cold calls for your small business, try to find a "hook" to build rapport, so that the call becomes more a conversation than a pitch. Break the ice by mentioning something positive--perhaps about a local sports team or the weather. Sam Richter, author of Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling recommends doing a search on yougotthenews.com prior to any sales call or meeting. This search will let you look up news that's relevant to them and add a personal touch. It only takes a few minutes, and it's worth it. Gauge how chatty you should be--if you are not getting good feedback, then get right to the point of the call.

If you can engage the other person by asking questions, you increase the likelihood of opening the door to another phone call at a later date. Get some feedback by asking questions, or risk losing the connection. Gong.io found that spacing about 11 to 14 questions throughout a call seemed to hit a sweet spot. Then get to the point of the call--either a specific ask or just a preliminary introduction to a later follow up. If you do want a follow-up, then pin it down and make a calendar note to yourself. Google and Outlook calendars can be useful; just find whatever system works for you--even if it's pen and paper.